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Firebreather at Firelight Festival
Photograph: Supplied

Five reasons to visit Firelight Festival this winter

Docklands’ festival of fireworks and light installations returns to brighten those cold nights

By Time Out in association with City of Melbourne

Melbourne might be getting cold but down in Docklands things are heating up. From June 28 to 30 the waterside precinct will be hosting its annual Firelight Festival, bringing with it more than 40 performers, food, drink, fireworks and magical light installations to Melbourne shores. And since Docklands is just next door to the CBD (and within the free tram zone) it’s a cinch to get to. Here’s what to look forward to at the 2019 Firelight Festival.

Listen to live bands 
There’s more to the festival than just beautiful lights. Firelight has also lined up some A-grade bands and musicians who’ll be playing everything from jazz to Latin music. Punters will enjoy tunes from the likes of Sugarfoot Ramblers, Royal High Jinx, the Fifths, Uptown Brown, D2 Drumline, Lolo Lovina and Mariachi Los Romanticos (yes, even a mariachi band!).

Warm up with tasty winter snacks
One of the best ways to stay warm during winter is also one of the tastiest. Firelight Festival is rounding up a stack of pop-up stalls and food trucks to keep guests warm and well nourished. On the menu is a bunch of classic winter comfort foods like raclette, gnocchi, soup (in bread bowls no less), hot sweet chai and fresh jam doughnuts. Plus there will be a pop-up bar for those seeking a tipple. Some vendors to watch out for are: Two & More S'Mores; Burn City Smokers; Lager Sisters; Manny's Doughnuts; Il Panzerotto Taste of Puglia; Greek Trojan Food Truck; and many more.

Watch laser shows on the harbour
Firelight Festival is using every part of Victoria Harbour to create a magical winter experience. Head to the waterfront to see an exciting on-water show that celebrates the seasons. Using water jets and lasers, the bewitching display will be located on the harbour’s north and south pylons. Catch the six-minute show every hour.

Gaze at spectacular fireworks displays
Fireworks are just better in winter. The early sunsets and deep dark nights make for prime pyrotechnical watching conditions. Every night during the Firelight Festival there will be a whiz-bang fireworks show that will light up not just the sky, but the water below too. Better yet the show has been planned so that no matter where you are at the festival, you’ll still be able to see the dazzling display.

See Firelight Festival from above
Those wanting to take in the full splendour of Firelight Festival should take to the skies. During the festival the Melbourne Star will give guests the best view of the festival by letting them hop aboard their 120 metre-tall observation wheel to see the glowing fest from above. The attraction is even offering a 40 per cent discount for those who ride during the festival.


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